A Commercial Perspective on the London Summer Olympics
Cultural activities are the foundations upon which economies thrive. Where there is art, music, literature and architecture science and technology will follow. Events like the London summer Olympics are catalysts for economic activity.
Manufacturers and tradesmen can find work where there is demand for goods and services. In ancient times business flourished around activities like the Olympic games, and so they will around the events in London in 2012. The city has been presented with an economic opportunity.
British weather has benefited from global warming bit it used to be the thing that people complained most about during the months of January and February. However there can be few things as lovely and temperate as a summer’s day in England. The sun rises early and bathes the land in a mellow glow until late into the evening. Shakespeare paid his ultimate compliment to feminine beauty by suggesting that it outdid even a summer’s day.
GM Hopkins thought that the English gentleman was one of the greatest strengths of the country. Unfortunately many gentlemen appear to have left the country since the time of his writing but the reputation that they left for honesty, honor and respectability still survives in the former colonies and to some extent in the language. Visitors to London will be eagerly looking forward to being in a place where the ethics of gentlemanly conduct actually do apply.
Manners may be good or bad. Even the finest English people can lapse into arrogance when they forget that the British Empire has long since disappeared. Silent disapproval and superiority is a trait that survives the imperial era. It may appear pompous and absurd in the Global Village but is a weakness that could sour the Games for some.
Another weakness that cannot easily be avoided is the cost of living. An ordinary Chinese person will not be able to contemplate spending more than a thousand yuan for a hotel room when a similar room in Beijing will cost three hundred. For those who are not sponsored visitors to London will be the elite. Television will enable people across the globe to enjoy events, perhaps more closely than those in an actual venue, but much of the atmosphere is lost.
London does not rank highly when quality of life is measured objectively. Permanent work is scarce because employers are afraid to fall foul of thickets of labor legislation that will commit them to huge employment expenses. However the Games will bring a welcome burst of casual or short term jobs for those who find even such work hard to come by. Those who are flexible and quick to seize opportunities may find welcome short term opportunities.
Until recently terrorism might have been regarded as the major threat to an event of this nature. However, the war against terror has been going quite well and a more insidious threat needs to be confronted. A team of policemen has been assigned the task of combating corruption. They will not concern themselves so much with doping issues as with gamblers who try to control the outcome of particular events for the benefits of punters in the know. Should even a single scandal erupt over an outcome that has been fixed the reputation of the games will have been tarnished, right in the home of English gentlemen.